Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New ways to talk to your computer

09.10.2003


Scientists explore how we could interact with computers



Imagine ordering your meal in a restaurant by a simple tap on the table, transmitting your choice direct to the kitchens. Or placing an order for goods by making your selection on the surface of the shop window.

It may sound like science fiction, but this could be the way we interact with computers in the future, thanks to a pan-European research project, led by experts at Cardiff University, Wales, UK.


"The vast majority of us communicate with our computers using tangible interfaces such as the keyboard, mouse, games console or touch screen," said Dr Ming Yang of the University’s multi-award-winning Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC), which is a Welsh Development Agency centre of excellence.

"Although these are in common usage they have certain disadvantages - we are required to be ’within reach’ of the computer and most devices lack robustness (to heat, pressure, water) restricting their spheres of application. Although some voice activated and vision systems for interacting with computers do exist, they are as yet unreliable."

The vision of this new research project is to develop Tangible Acoustic Interfaces for Computer Human Interactions (TAI-CHI). It will explore how physical objects such as walls, windows and table tops, can in effect become giant 3D touch screens, acting as an interface between any computer and its user.

The whole project is based on the principle that interacting with any physical object produces acoustic waves both within the object and on its surface. By visualising and characterising such acoustic patterns and how they react when touched or moved, a new medium for communication with computers and the cyber-world can be developed.

While acoustic sensing techniques have been used for many years in both military and industrial applications, none is suitable for the multimedia applications envisaged by Tai-Chi. Some commercial products also exist, but are limited in their application to flat glass surfaces only and are restricted by size. The Tai-Chi project will go well beyond these limitations.

"Our goal is to make this technology accessible to all," said Dr Yang, who leads the Tai-Chi team at the MEC. "Once that is done, the possibilities of application are endless."

The Tai-Chi research project, supported by EC funding from the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), sees the MEC co-ordinating the work with partners from Paris in France, Genoa and Milan in Italy, IMW in Clausthal, Germany, Lausanne in Switzerland and the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Chris Matthews | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>